No Charges Planned in Prop. BB Campaign

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has declined to file criminal charges against Los Angeles school officials over allegations that they used public funds to promote Proposition BB, the $2.4-billion school bond measure.

However, in a letter to Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Granada Hills), who lodged the complaint last April, Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti stopped short of exonerating school officials, who planned a campaign detailing the repair needs of schools.

Garcetti said the activities by the Los Angeles Unified School District on behalf of Proposition BB fell into an ambiguity in the law prohibiting politicking by public agencies.

He suggested that McClintock pursue legislation to clarify the distinction between information that is "exclusively designed to urge the support of a ballot measure and information which is both informative and by its very nature supports a particular position."

McClintock lodged the complaint over a document published by the school district's Bond Information Office outlining an aggressive plan to mobilize students and school personnel to push voter registration and increase awareness about the needs of the schools and how Proposition BB would help.

The school district has acknowledged it spent about $2 million on the BB campaign, but contends the effort was meant to inform voters, not urge them how to vote.

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